5 Spots to View Humpback Whales… For Free!

Kauai is an island full of wonder, green wonders, and wildlife. You can spot sea creatures throughout the island, you can truly enjoy the calmness and beauty of the ocean water, and you can look into the green valleys of the tropics and forest before you. When it comes to spotting sea life, there’s no greater feeling than catching a glimpse of a whale or two while you’re on the island. If you’re looking for the greatest spots to see a whale or two, we have curated a list with some of the best spots you cannot miss.

Here are 5 must-see locations to spot humpback whales:

Poipu Beach

Located on the south shore is one of Kauai’s most popular beaches boasting great opportunities to whale watch. Not only can you spot humpback whales, but you can also spot some sea turtles as well as tropical fish if you snorkel underwater. Wanting to swim around or go boogie boarding in the waters while you try to spot some sea life? This beach is perfect for that! Poipu Beach is also equipped with restroom facilities as well as lifeguards, so feel free to hop in the water or simply relax on the beach and wait for the whales to come to you!

Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay is widely known for the abundance of water sport activities that you can enjoy on the beach. From boogie boarding to surfing to paddleboarding, there is no lack of entertainment found at this beach. What you might not know, however, is that this beach makes for a wonderful opportunity to spot whales! So, grab a blanket and layout on the beach to spot some sea animals – or enjoy your view from a canoe or kayak on the waters.

Kilauea Lighthouse

Support the conservation and preservation of the wildlife and their habitat at the Kilauea Lighthouse. A true sight, this spot offers views that you simply cannot get anywhere else. The lighthouse is known for its incredible overlook and endless ocean views, as well as mesmerizing sunsets. Head to the overlook and catch a glimpse of a whale perusing along the ocean waters! The Kilauea Lighthouse is the ideal location to enjoy some wildlife sightseeing.

Kalalau Trail/Overlook

Along the Na Pali Coast, you’ll find yourself meandering on this 11-mile hike. While the Kalalau hike can be a challenging one, there’s nothing more rewarding than the view from the top. Along the way, find yourself completely immersed in the tropics that is Kauai and look out into the waters to try to spot a whale or two.

Kealia Beach

Watch the whales beyond the horizon line here at Kealia Beach. Hop in the water and go boogie boarding or swim in between the ocean waves. These calm waters and white sands will entertain the day away. Lifeguards are posted here as well, so feel free to jump in and enjoy the full experience of this beach. Luckily, there are also showers and restrooms here if you feel the need to quickly rinse after sitting in the sand and spotting the sea life.

Honorable Mention:

Although we’ve been focusing on the free opportunities that you can satisfy your whale watching needs, there are some charter experiences that provide a wonderful experience when it comes to whales.

Holo Holo Charters

Holoholo Charters Exteriors

Voted the 2nd best charter tour in the U.S., Holo Holo Charters has a Napali Coast Kauai Snorkel and Sail adventure that provides the ideal whale watching experience. With prices ranging from around $160, you can experience the most breathtaking views of Na Pali along with catching a glimpse or two of whales along the way.

When it comes to the best locations to spot a while, it really comes down to timing. While some of these spots continuously offer whale sightings, others just depend on the season and the day. Either way, you will find yourself completely amazed not only by the whales in the water but also by the sights you immerse yourself in along the way.